An industrial facility of about 300,000 square feet is planned for Decatur near the Interstate 65/565 interchange, an area described as “primed for development,” and negotiations are underway to lease a substantial part of the facility to a business that distributes products manufactured by Polaris.
“We’ve been circling around this site for about a year,” said Henry Graham, the vice president of development for Graham & Company, the Birmingham-based commercial real estate firm that will be the project’s developer. “We think this interchange has great potential for the city of Decatur.”
Graham said the building’s owner and landlord will be River & Rocket, an entity that’s affiliated with Graham & Company. River & Rocket has said it intends to acquire 25 acres of property along Bibb Garrett Road that’s located in Decatur-annexed Limestone County.
On Monday, the city’s Industrial Development Board approved tax abatement requests from both River & Rocket and Power 3PL Inc., which plans to lease space in the facility.
The estimated cost of the project is $17.5 million, according to a summary of River & Rocket’s application for tax abatements.
Marty Jenkins, vice president of operations for Custom Assembly Inc., the trade name for Power 3PL, said the new facility will be used to warehouse finished Polaris products from the Huntsville plant and distribute them to the 10 Polaris distribution centers across the country.
“We just need more space to continue to grow,” Jenkins said.
Based in Medina, Minnesota, Polaris started production in 2016 on Greenbrier Road in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County. The company manufactures the Slingshot, a three-wheeled, open-air roadster, and off-road vehicles at its Huntsville facility.
According to a document submitted to the IDB, Power 3PL estimates the project will create 10 new jobs with an annual average wage, not including benefits, of $35,000. The company expects to transfer about 15 to 20 current employees from other north Alabama locations to the new facility, the document states.
“We’ve grown every year for the past 13 years, so the potential (for more growth) is always there,” Jenkins said.
Graham said the Bibb Garrett Road site is centrally located for shipping to the east, west, north and south and is accessible to interstates 65 and 565.
“The site is in a part of the city of Decatur that is primed for development,” he said. “This interchange is the driving factor” for choosing this location for the industrial building.
Graham & Company said it plans to build the distribution facility to allow for multiple tenants. Pre-leasing negotiations are still underway.
The project’s site plan and building design are being finalized, Henry Graham said.
Graham said construction could start in July or August, with construction expected to take about a year.
The facility will be capable of supporting up to 80 dock or trailer positions along the building’s dual 60-foot-wide speed-bays, the Graham & Company said.
The purchaser has conducted an extensive due diligence study, including a traffic study, geotechnical analysis, subdivision and rezoning, the company said.
Matthew Hinshaw, an attorney who represents both companies, said Monday there’s “a lot of development potential” in the area where the facility is planned.
At its meeting Monday, the IDB voted to abate about $80,500 a year in state, Limestone County and city of Decatur non-educational property taxes for a 10-year period for River & Rocket. It also agreed to abate an estimated $330,000 in state sales taxes during the construction period and an estimated $247,500 in non-educational city of Decatur sales taxes during construction.
The tax abatement document said the project is expected to create new state, Limestone County and city of Decatur property taxes for schools of about $73,850 a year for the 10-year period.
An estimated $165,000 in Limestone County sales taxes would be generated during construction that would benefit Limestone County Schools, the document said, and an estimated $82,500 in city of Decatur sales taxes would be generated during construction to benefit Decatur City Schools.
The estimated investment in the project for Power 3PL, to equip the facility, would be $605,000, according to a summary of its abatement application.
The IDB voted to abate about $1,815 a year in state, Limestone County and city of Decatur non-educational property taxes for 10 years for Power 3PL, according to the summary, and to abate an estimated $24,200 in state sales taxes during construction.
The company was also granted an abatement of an estimated $18,150 in city of Decatur non-educational sales taxes during construction.
The Power 3PL project is expected to generate about $1,665 a year for 10 years in state, Limestone County and city of Decatur property taxes for schools, according to the document.
The estimated amount of Limestone County sales taxes generated during construction to benefit Limestone County Schools is $12,100, according to the summary, and the estimated amount of city of Decatur sales taxes generated during construction for Decatur City Schools is $6,050.